The BSE Sensex fell below 19,000 for the first time since late November 2010, with lenders leading the fall, as accelerating inflation cemented expectations that the Reserve Bank may hike interest rates.

At 2:38 p.m. (0908 GMT), the 30-share BSE index was down 1.29 percent at 18,934.90 points, with 26 components declining. It had last slipped below 19,000 on Nov. 26, 2010.

The 50-share NSE index was down 1.4 percent at 5,670.